American Go E-Journal » Europe

EuroGoTV Updates: Poland, Romania, Netherlands

Sunday July 7, 2013

Cristian Pop Romanian National ChampionshipPoland: The 36 International Warsaw Go Tournament finished June 30 in Warszawa with Koichiro Habu 4d in first, Leszek Soldan 5d in second, and Stanislaw Frejlak 4d in third. Romania: After six long days, Cristian Pop 7d (left) was declared the winner of the Romanian National Championship in Mangalia on June 30. Cornel Burzo 6d placed second while Lucian Corlan 5d came in third. Netherlands: Zeno van Ditzhuijzen 5d triumphed at the Toernooi van Utrecht on June 23. Behind him was Robert Rehm 5d in second and Alexander Eerbeek 5d in third.
— Annalia Linnan, based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news


Surin Bests Dinerchtein to Win Berth in Russian Cup Final

Saturday July 6, 2013

Dmitry Surin 6D (below) upset Alexander Dinerchtein 3P in the 2013 Russian Cup semi-final on July 6, knocking Dinerchtein out of his accustomed spot in the final, which will be broadcast on KGS on Sunday, July 7. The Cup, which has about 70 players this year, is the final and most spectacular event at the annual Russian Go Congress. The battle of the A league includes the top right Russian players in a double-elimination tournament. Dinerchtein lost by 2.5 points to Surin, known in Europe for winning several European Pair Go Championships with partner Natalia Kovaleva. Surin’s style features deep knowledge and understanding of intricate josekis and difficult variations, great fighting skills and acute reading, all of which he brought to bear in his exciting game with Dinerchtein. Though Surin is considered to be one of the strongest Russian players, most deciding matches at major Russian events wind up Shikshin vs Dinerchtein clashes so Sunday’s final is being highly anticipated at the Congress in Saint Petersburg.
- Daria Koshkina, Russian correspondent for the E-Journal; photo by Mikhail Krylov

Categories: Europe

European Go Federation Inks Deal With Chinese to Promote Go in Europe

Friday July 5, 2013

The European Go Federation has signed a far-reaching and lucrative contract with a group of Chinese investors to promote go in Europe. The deal aims to improve the strength of European amateurs, establish a professional system in Europe and support the European Go Federation, all to achieve the overall goals of enhancing go’s popularity in Europe, as well as developing new cultural contacts between Europe and China. “I think the AGA and EGF efforts will complement each other in a number of ways and give both organizations an even more forceful story to tell to potential sponsors,” said American Go Association President Andy Okun. “EGF President Martin Stiassny deserves a lot of credit for almost single-handedly bringing about this contract,” added Thomas Hsiang, the longtime International Go Federation and American Go Association official who was elected General Secretary of the International Mind Sports Association (IMSA) earlier this year. “I congratulate him on a job well done.  There is a lot of hard work ahead, but with the efforts in Europe as well as in US,  the future of go in the West looks bright and promising.” The investor group is known as the Beijing Zong Yi Yuan Cheng Culture Communication Co. Ltd. (called CEGO), and is comprised of investors who “believe on the future development of European Go and are willing to commit themselves to promote Go, a great representative of Chinese traditional culture, in the West,” according to the document. In addition to a “Go Academic System” that will send 4-6 players annually to study in China, the contract envisions a new professional go system in Europe in which the EGF will certify up to two players annually as “European Professionals” through new European top tournaments, including a yearly promotion tournament for the aspiring professionals. In addition to financial support for these initiatives, the contract pledges CEGO to contribute yearly payments to enable the EGF to become a “more professional organisation” – including setting up an office and hiring staff – in order to develop and implement these and other goals over the next decade. News of the contract, which was posted on the BGA website, originally broke on Lifein19x19, where there’s been extensive discussion of the deal.

Categories: Europe

Russian Go Congress Hosts 1st “Go-Poker” Tournament

Friday July 5, 2013

The first-ever official go-poker tournament is being held this week at the 16th annual Russian Go Congress in Saint Petersburg. Also known as “Dango,” the go variant is well-known in Europe, where it’s played by top players like Matthew Macfadyen and Alexander Dinerchtein 3P. At the beginning of the game each player has 36 cards that can be either go shapes or “action cards” (placing or removing stones, pass etc). Opponents alternate turns, taking a card and “playing” it on the board. Unlike go, Dango introduces a significant measure of luck and randomness but proponents say “it is not on any account a foolish game,” noting that go-poker “requires memorizing, counting and tactical skills.” The entertainment factor for players and viewers lies in the unexpected twists that can turn the whole game upside down after each move. The go-poker tournament at the Russian Go Congress is being held in the evenings after the major regular competitions. Alexander Dinerchtein 3P, who’s a fan of Dango, is participating, providing amateurs with perhaps their best chance to best a professional go player.
- reported by Daria Koshkina, Russian correspondent for the E-Journal; photo credits: cards photo from; players photo by Alexey Kozhunkov

Categories: Europe

16th Russian Go Congress Gathers This Week in Saint Petersburg

Tuesday July 2, 2013

The 16th Russian Go Congress got off to an exciting start in Saint Petersburg on June 29th and 30th when 18-year-old Mikhail Svyatlovsky, a shodan from Moscow, won the Valery Astashkin Memorial Tournament. The traditional first tournament of the congress is held in honor of Valery Astashkin (1945-2008), the “Father” of modern Russian go. Astashkin (right) and Georgy Nilov were the first to spread and promote go in Russia in the 1970s. Together they published a series of introductory teaching articles in “Nauka i Zhizn” (Science and Life, a very popular Soviet/Russian magazine of the time) that produced hundreds of new players, clubs and tournaments. In 1977, Astashkin initiated the first USSR Go Championship and in 1989 he became the first president of the new USSR Go Federation.

This year’s Valery Astashkin Memorial Tournament attracted 55 players ranging in strength from 5-dan to 20-kyu. Its distinctive feature is a full handicap system, making it especially enjoyable and appreciated by kyu players who get a chance to take on stronger players as well as high dans who can practice their fighting skills. Three young aspiring Russian players topped this year’s event. In addition to winner Mikhail Svyatlovsky, who had already shone in several local and youth competitions, Anton Radyushkin 8k from St Petersburg came in 2nd and in 3rd place was Kim Shahov, a 5-kyu from Moscow who is just 11 years old.

The Congress, which attracts hundreds of players from all parts of the big country, as well as foreign guests, runs through July 7th and includes several go tournaments, including the Russian Team Championship and annual Russian Cup.

- reported by Daria Koshkina, Russian Correspondent for the E-Journal. Photo credits: Astashkin photo from Astashkin family archive;  Svyatlovsky photo by Alexey Kozhunkov.  Click here for tourney results (in Russian, not yet submitted to EGD). 


Categories: Europe

France Notches First Win In France-Germany Élysée Cup Modeled After “Super-Go” Events

Tuesday July 2, 2013

Super-Go Tournaments between professionals from China and Japan were quite popular back in the 1980s. The legendary Nie Weiping earned his nickname as the “Iron Goalkeeper” when, as China’s last remaining player in the first three Super-Go events, he defeated all the remaining Japanese players, a sequence of 11 consecutive wins. This year France and Germany are attempting to rekindle this national excitement with the Élysée Cup, a friendly online team tournament occasioned by the “année franco-allemande/Deutsch-französisches Jahr” celebrating the French-German friendship. Organized by the French Go Federation and the German Go Federation, the tournament — played on KGS — follows the model of the previous Super-Go tournaments, with each country fielding teams comprised of eight top players each. The two lowest-ranked players begin, with the winner continuing to play the next strongest opponent from the other team until there are no more opponents left. If the last player of a team is defeated it has lost the tournament. In addition to national bragging rights, the winning team will collect 200 Euro. France’s Toru Imamura scored the first win on June 29, defeating Jun Tarumi by resignation; His next opponent will be Lukas Kraemer on a date to be determined. The French team includes Motoki Noguchi 7d, Thomas Debarre 6d, Rémi Campagnie 6d, Benjamin Papazoglou 5d, Tanguy Le Calvé 5d, Antoine Fenech 5d, Frédéric Donzet 5d, Toru Imamura 4d and Benjamin Dréan-Guénaizia 5d (Substitute Player). The German team includes Pei Zhao 6d, Jin Zou 6d, Benjamin Teuber 6d, Franz-Josef Dickhut 6d, Christoph Gerlach 6d, Johannes Obenaus 5d, Lukas Kraemer 5d, Jun Tarumi 5d and Yi Zhang 5 Dan (Substitute Player).
- Jan Engelhardt, German correspondent for the E-Journal

Categories: Europe

EuroGoTV Updates: Spain, France and Germany on KGS, Slovakia

Saturday June 29, 2013

Jan Simara 6dSpain: At the II Open de Bilbao on June 16, Kiichi Matsumoto 1k bested Miguel-Angel Antolinez 2d and Alejandro Menendez 8k placed third. KGS: On June 23, French player Tanguy Le Calve 5d (Welvang on KGS) led his nine-player team to victory against German team leader Oliver Wolf 4d (sinsai on KGS) in the French-German Youth Friendship Match. There were three players per age group (U18, U15, and U11) with the each team leader on board one. In the end, France triumphed 5-4.  Live commentary on select games by Hwan In-seong 8d (including the match between Wolf and Le Calve) can be found here. Slovakia: Jan Simara 6d (right) dominated the Slovak Go Festival on June 23 while Ondrej Silt 6d came in second and Dominik Boviz 3d in third.
— Annalia Linnan, based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news

Wales Goes To The Welsh

Thursday June 27, 2013

A Welshman had dominion over all comers in his native land last weekend. Dylan Carter 1d of Cardiff took the Welsh Open from a field of 27, mostly English, at Barmouth June 22-23.

It was a neck-and-neck finish, with Carter and two others, Richard Hunter 3d of Bristol and Toby Manning 2d of Leicester all entering the final round with a chance of winning – and each going on to win his game in that round. In the end the Welshman triumphed by just half a SOS point. Also distinguishing themselves with four wins were John Green 4k of Leamington and Colin Maclennan 10k of Twickenham.

The tournament was a five-round MacMahon, with the bar at 1-dan. Click here for full results.

Wales is one of the four main territories which make up the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the UK) – the others being England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It is a country with its own National Assembly, its own Celtic language* and its own Open Go Tournament. Scotland holds its own Open Tournament, too (see June 1 EJ report) and both are in addition to the British Open (see April 8 EJ report).

We may commiserate with those defeated by adapting words from the famous Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas**:
Though go games be lost, the game of go shall not.
- Report by Tony Collman, British Correspondent for the E-Journal, based partly on a report on the British Go Association’s website.

*Welsh - unrelated to English which is, however, now the most widely-spoken language (80%) there.
**“Though lovers be lost, love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.”
― Dylan Thomas, And Death Shall Have No Dominion

Categories: Europe

Mind GO Club Re-Opens This Week in Rehovot, Israel

Tuesday June 25, 2013

The Mind GO club’s second largest go club in Israel is re-opening this week. The club, in Rehotot at Weizmann Science Institute, is opening under the auspices of Professor Peleg, Dean of Mathematics faculty at the Institute. Meetings start this Wednesday, June 26, 20:00 in the Ziskind building (Math and Computer Science), second floor, room 261. All are welcome. Shavit Fragman first opened the club at the Weizmann Science Institute in 2004 and it was run then successfully run for several years by Dr. Andreas Doncic from Sweden. For further details, contact Shavit @ 054-4500453.

Final 8 Set for German Championship

Monday June 24, 2013

Lukas Krämer 5d, Bernd Radmacher 4d, Marlon Welter 4d and Matthias Terwey 5d have qualified for the final round of the upcoming German Championship. They will join Franz-Josef Dickhut 6d, Johannes Obenaus 5d, Jun Tarumi 5d and Benjamin Teuber 6d in Darmstadt for the July 4-7 final.

In Germany the championship is divided in two rounds, a preliminary and a final round. The top 60 players in Germany are eligible for the preliminary round; this year 16 players from 3-5 dan showed up June 15-16 in Kassel to compete for four seats in the final, where Dickhut, Obenaus, Tarumi and Teuber were pre-seeded, based on the results of the previous championship.

Unfortunately Robert Jasiek 5d – who took first place in last year’s prelim – arrived to late to take part in the tournament due to train problems. After six rounds in a close field nobody was undefeated. Krämer, Radmacher and Welter managed to win five out of six games. The fourth seat is often decided on tiebreakers, and Matthias Terwey 5d must have been quite worried to have lost his first two games against 3-dans, but a winning streak in the following four rounds was enough to secure him a place in the final round. Some of the games will be broadcast on KGS.
- Jan Engelhardt, German Correspondent for the E-Journal. photo: Bernd Radmacher (left), Marlon Welter (right), Lukas Kraemer (middle)

Categories: Europe